Conservatives hire lawyer to conduct Dykstra review

The Conservative Party of Canada has named Carol Nielsen to carry out an independent review of how the party dealt with allegations of sexual misconduct against former MP Rick Dykstra.

Carol Nielsen will carry out independent review of how party dealt with sexual misconduct allegations

The Conservative Party of Canada has hired a lawyer to carry out an independent review of how the party dealt with allegations of sexual misconduct against former MP Rick Dykstra. (Rick Dykstra/Twitter)

The Conservative Party of Canada has hired a Toronto-based labour lawyer to review how the party dealt with allegations of sexual misconduct made against former Ontario MP Rick Dykstra.

Carol Nielsen, a partner at Filion Wakely Thorup Angeletti, a firm focusing on labour and employment law, has a background in wrongful dismissals, human rights, pay equity, employment standards and collective agreement interpretation.

Her mandate will be to review the events around the allegations made against Dykstra and gather information that will help the Conservative Party set new protocols for dealing with allegations of sexual impropriety.

Dykstra resigned as president of the Ontario Progressive Conservative party in January, just hours before Maclean's magazine published a report that said he had been accused of sexual assault in 2014.

According to Maclean's, Conservative Party officials allowed Dykstra to stand as a candidate in 2015 despite the allegation.

Federal Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said it was difficult to nail down the facts in the case because the sources were speaking anonymously to the media. An independent third party would be needed to investigate completely, he said.

In a statement issued today, Scheer said he's confident Nielsen will review the situation thoroughly and get all the facts. He promised that the findings will be made public when the review is completed.

"It's important that we have an environment where victims can come forward and have their allegations investigated fully," he said.